Letter from The Vicarage – Easter 2022

Parishioner letter—Rev neil

Easter 2022

The Cover Image this Easter is inspired by a new song “Come to the Table” by Matt Weeks which you can hear most Sunday’s at St Mary’s.

If you use social media, you may enjoy the ‘anniversaries’ that pop up every now and then, reminding you of what happened on this day in previous years. My timeline recently has been full of images from our early lockdown – our first Evensong in the carpark 2 years ago, ringing the bell, pancakes on the astroturf… It makes me realise that the last time we ‘did Easter’ the ‘normal’ way was 3 years ago! We had a few socially distanced people in church in 2021, but finally this year we are allowed to gather in greater numbers and celebrate with a shared feast.

Continue reading “Letter from The Vicarage – Easter 2022”

Memories in old money

by Mike Jacobs

I came across a sixpence recently and this made me think of the rich culture we had with our pre-decimal coinage. The only recognisable one these days is half-a-crown mainly because the bricks for the Cathedral were sold for this amount. Two shillings and sixpence. The pennies and ha’pennies were real coins and with two or three in your pocket, you knew you had some money. My first ‘pocket money’ was thruppence or three whole pennies. With these in your pocket, you were rich.

Continue reading “Memories in old money”

Tesco Community Grant for Local Project

By Alex Sanderson (Food Parcels Project Team)

Today we would all like to say a huge thank you to everyone who used their blue to tokens and voted for the local food parcels project at Tesco last year.  We are  absolutely delighted to announce that we have now received a Tesco Community Grant of £1000, which will fund 3-6 weeks of much needed food parcel items for local families facing difficult times. Thanks must also go to Tesco and their team who make this all possible.

Every wondered what our weekly shop looks like? Have a look at this photo—this is a fairly typical week, depending on how many families we are supporting. (Usually 20-30 families every week)

If you missed your chance to vote and would like to donate, why not donate online? We have a ‘Give a Little’ fundraising page hosted by St Mary’s where you can even add Gift Aid if you are a tax payer. Of if you prefer to donate food items, why not fill a bag this Lent, one item per day? Contact us for the online giving link or for a list of suggested items Text or call: 07730 609446.

We hugely appreciate your support, as do all our  volunteers and the local families who have benefited from the parcels in their time of need. Our project is only possible thanks to your donations and grants. Your help makes all the difference!  Thank You!

Find out more online about community grants: #CommunityGrants @groundworkuk www.tesco.com/communitygrants

Cast your Votes at the Co-op to support Food Projects at The Chapel!

By Alex Sanderson (Chapel Project Manager)

As most locals will already know, the Chapel Project on Wharf Rd is all about sharing Christ’s love through creativity, hospitality and worship. We welcome everyone, of all faiths and none. The Chapel is a joint initiative between the Hants Surrey Border Methodist Circuit, and St Marys Church in Ash Vale (more on our website here: www.ashvalechapel.com and Facebook @ashvalechapel). Now you can help us do more in 2022, through the Co-op ‘Local Causes’ scheme! https://www.coop.co.uk/local-causes

Continue reading “Cast your Votes at the Co-op to support Food Projects at The Chapel!”

Ash Ranges Update

Have you heard the latest?

If you have been reading the online version of The Parishioner magazine during the covid crisis, you may remember this Parishioner cover some months ago. A lot has happened since we last printed a Parishioner and popped it through all your doors! Here’s an update for anyone who missed it. Tim Jones is our contact within the “Save our Spaces” team and shares the latest news with us: 

Continue reading “Ash Ranges Update”

Picnic & Play in the Holidays

Picnic & Play in the Holidays

12:00 -14:00

Wednesdays in August

Outside in the garden at

The Chapel, Wharf Rd, GU12 5AY

Come and join us for a picnic, a chat  and a play in the Chapel garden.

Please text Alex to book 07730 609446

Booking is essential so we can manage numbers

& cater for your picnic lunch.

What’s on? Summer and beyond 2021

What’s on this Summer:

Summer at St Mary’s Vale Rd, Ash Vale, GU12 5JE

Church Services on Sundays 10am in the garden (or join on zoom)

Community Café Fridays in August  10:30-12:00 in the Small hall & Astroturf area (just turn up, all welcome, no need to book)

Summer Ball in aid of the Children’s Society  Saturday 21st August  – contact Jan for tickets jan@tompot.co.uk (see page 5 for details)

Prayer Evening Friday 13th August Contact Karen for details via the office parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk

Summer at The Chapel  Wharf Rd, Ash Vale GU12 5AY

Picnic & Play in the Chapel garden. Wednesdays in August  12:00-14:00 text to book 07730 609446 (see inside back cover for details)

Chapel Poetry  Workshop  7:30pm on Friday 13 August on Zoom. Text for the link 07730 609446  (see also page 22&23)

Food Parcel donations accepted at The Chapel on Wednesdays and Fridays 9am-10am thank you. Summer snacks while the children are off school would be a huge help. If you are in need of a crisis parcel please contact Alex 07730 609446 or Carla 07843 489796

Also please watch this space for a community fridge! The project is starting soon — we will keep you updated!

Summer at St Paul’s      Parish Church in Tongham

Churches Together Picnic! 29th August 3pm in the vicarage garden(byo). RSVP via the Church office: 01252 783081

Messy church: August 19th 4pm: details to be confirmed on our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulstongham

What’s on in the Autumn Term?

Sundays:

10am –Join St Mary’s for our weekly Church Service. both in person and on Zoom for those shielding or isolating.. Evensong is back too, contact the office for timings. Contact: Parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk

Mondays:

ChapelKids & LittleLambs CoffeeZoom  11am for parents and carers. All welcome, come and have a chat. Contact Alex for the link 07730 609446.

Meet up Mondays 10:30am at ‘The Church on the Green’ in Frimley, just pop in.

St Paul’s Tongham: Mondays 4-4.30pm. Toddler Storytime  – stories, actions and songs Church office: 01252 783081

Tuesdays:

St Mary’s Babies Support Group 10am-11am  A lovely baby group for parents and carers and their little ones from new-born to 12mths old. (Term time only, text to book) Alex: 07730 6094446

St Paul’s Tongham Tuesdays 2.30-4pm Mum Plus— friendship and facilitated discussions. Church office: 01252 783081

Choir Practice at St Mary’s 8-9pm Come and join in making a joyful noise! We currently range in age from 9 to 79, all are welcome, just turn up and sing. Contact: Parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk

Wednesdays:

ChapelKids baby & toddler group at The Chapel  on Wharf Rd (term time only). Call for details and bookings. Alex: 07730609446

St Paul’s Tongham Wednesdays 4-4.30pm. Toddler Storytime. Contact us via the  Church office: 01252 783081

Chapel Craft evenings 8-10pm at The Chapel on Wharf Rd. Join likeminded crafters, bring your latest project and craft while you chat.

Thursdays

Chapel Filmshare: Fortnightly Filmshare evenings at The Chapel—See page 25 for more information

St Pauls Tongham Thursdays 10.30-12noon Baby Plus  – Informal chat session for mums, with some singing and action songs for the little ones. Church office: 01252 783081

Save the date!

  • 16th Sept Messy Church @St Pauls
  • 26th Sept 4pm Messy Church @ St Mary’s
  • 26th Sept Messy Church @St Pauls
  • 2nd Oct Children’s Society Coffee Morning at St Peter’s in Ash 10am
  • 31st Oct Love & Light Event @ St Mary’s
  • Quiz Night in November @St Marys
  • Abbeywood Panto in November 26/27/28
  • 6th Dec St Nicholas Lantern Walk
  • 23rd July 2022 Summer Fair @St Mary’s

Have you enjoyed our Parishioner Magazine, community events and support groups? We would welcome a donation to help us keep everything going. Donations link: https://tinyurl.com/StMAshVale Thank you!

Chapel Music

News from Matt Weeks, Chapel Musician in Residence

Things in the Ash Vale Chapel Studio have been going well in recent months. Here’s an update of what’s been going on recently…

We’ve had a wonderful variety of different people in:

We had a church choir who came in all the way from Battersea! Due to people moving on, the choir was actually coming to an end, so it was really lovely to be able to capture what they’d been working on so they all had a souvenir of their efforts of the past years.

We had a young rock band in from Wales; XL Live. They are a lovely young group of lads who, by all accounts, haven’t had the easiest of upbringings. So it was amazing to see them enjoy having a day in a studio and to see all their hard work begin to pay off. They loved the space, and were ever so appreciative to have the chance to be using it.

We’ve had some old friends come in to the studio to get their projects mixed. A lovely album which is in progress is a collection of cover versions sung by a father and daughter duo. We’re even bringing the families together!

We also recorded the bass part for a song Brian Doerksen is recording, which has been written about the awful discovery in Canada of 215 bodies of children found buried at an indigenous school.

The Chapel is such a blessing, and we are so pleased to be serving such a wide variety of people.

If you’d like to get in touch you can reach the Chapel Project Team on ashvalechapel@gmail.com on and the website is here: www.ashvalechapel.com

How many ice creams have you spotted in the magazine so far?

Faith, Hope and Love in Lockdown

News from the Amaha We Uganda team

If lockdown was hard for us here, imagine what it must be like for our friends over in Uganda at the moment. As I write, they are in full lockdown, and our team reports that it is the poorest of the poor who are really struggling to survive. We worry about the poorest in the communities—elderly widows for example—and we pray for the street children, who usually manage to eat each day by labouring in the market places. With the markets shut, they  have no way to make money to get something to eat.

The Amaha We Uganda Team have been instrumental in linking the most vulnerable poor to the local churches, and managing emergency food distribution. This is not the kind of work that they usually do  — after all, Amaha We Uganda is not a relief agency — but they have surrounded the most vulnerable with prayer, in their hour of need, and shown them love. Thank you to all of you in the UK who responded to the emergency appeal. You can  donate online here for this work, which is still ongoing: https://tinyurl.com/AWUcrisis

As if this wasn’t enough to be doing, William and his team are persevering with the unenviable task of planting trees. We have joined Bishop Nasen in his vision to have a tree nursery in each archdeaconry of the South Rwenzori Diocese – 13 in total. Three nurseries have already provided 33,500 saplings and are now in the process of being replanted to grow new saplings. Another five nurseries are under way in the areas of most need. This is a crucial project, since the trees they are planting are the future hope for the region. Reforesting the hills is vital  in maintaining farmable soil, locking away carbon, providing food & shelter and preventing disastrous land slides. The photo below shows some of the very first saplings that were handed out at the women’s conference at Ibanda, and planted on the slopes of The Rwenzori. They have grown beautifully. Can you help us to keep AWU going and plant some more trees please? A Tree nursery costs around £500. Every penny goes a long way in Uganda!  https://tinyurl.com/AWUganda  Thank you for your support!

For more information, blogs and photos: https://www.amahaweuganda.org/

Neighbourly Reflections

Before lockdown I was very much challenged by a talk at church about how we can love our neighbours; and in fact asking whether we even know any of them. We were asked if we took note of who moved in and if we welcomed people into the street. Jesus was big on telling people to love their neighbour, but I’ve never really looked at it terms of the people in my street – I’ve always seen my neighbour as relating to the people I work with, the parents of my children’s friends etc, because I spend time with those people. We don’t tend to have connections with neighbours other than living next door and sharing a hedge/fence! So the challenge was a good one …. and then lockdown happened!

We have lived in our current house for 24 years and in Ash Vale for 34 years since our marriage. We know our immediate neighbours but have not spoken to many of the others in the street for most of that time – even though there have been comings and goings along the road over the years. I guess the reason I have always used is that our street has only got houses on one side of the road – we can’t look in neighbours’ windows and be nosy! And it makes things a little less easy to connect with those we live side by side with. When we went into lockdown, to my shame I did not dash along to all the neighbours and check that they were all OK – I have followed the isolation rules as was demanded because we have an elderly relative that we have ‘bubbled’ with and so we were not involved with other community initiatives during lockdown. Covid has thrown us all onto a new horizon; giving us new ways of looking at our locality; making us re-evaluate how we work and how we connect with friends and our neighbours. We did become acquainted with one or two via a nod and a ‘Hello!’ as we walked past on our way to pick up shopping from the Village, but that’s about as far as it went.

As the restrictions started to lift in April and May, we started to think outwards again and realised that over lockdown there had been three houses in our little patch alone that had sold and now had new people settling in. Having two sons who also moved during lockdown I appreciate just how difficult a thing it has been for people to move and find out about a locality in these times of restrictions. So things had to change – I no longer wanted to be an ostrich. The best way I know of connecting with people is through food, so we decided to hold a cream tea in the garden which we could do within the restrictions. We hand delivered invitations and invited all the neighbours in the small section of street near our home – about 10 invites in all – and waited. Even though we had left it really late to invite people, we got responses almost straight away and had about 8 families accept the invitation. I was very pleased. The day we chose to host our cream tea was one of the hottest in the late Spring which meant that we could all gather in our shady garden and drink tea, prosecco, wine and eat scones to our hearts content; but more importantly it connected all the households who came together. People were initially hesitant, but by the time the afternoon ended everyone knew who each other was  and which house they lived in. It was the first event of what I hope will be a continuing trend – how can we progress this? How can we really be neighbours to our neighbours?

How have you connected with your neighbours this last 18 months? I would love to know other peoples’ experiences – I want to pick up creative ways to be a good neighbour – to do what Jesus told me to do.

By Jackie Scott

Do you have a story about how you got to know your neighbours, or people being neighbourly? The Parishioner would love to hear from you. parishioner@ash-vale.org.uk